The pointlessness of covid tests at the border

Adrian George Nicolae
3 min readNov 21, 2021
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

So, I’m a European guy that travelled throughout Europe this Summer. And this is going to about that experience. And yes, I know, I’m a few months late, but life gets in the way sometimes.

You see, when I left the Uk to travel, I went by train, and while they were telling me I had to do a PCR test, nobody gave a damn about that, or that I was vaccinated. They just wanted to see the Personal Locator Form(PFL), and that’s it.

The Belgium government (where I arrived) told me to do 2 PCR tests, and not go out of the house, so from that aspect, they were on it.

During this trip I only travelled by train, and with the exception of the Slovakian border patrol, nobody came to check if anybody might have anything, which for me was great, because you can get tired of always tests.
But then in France, they were checking before you boarded, if you were vaccinated at least, so there’s that.

After some more travelling, I went back to Belgium to go back to the Uk, again, via train.
This time, albeit 4 months later, things were different.
I had to pay for an LFT test, that was free in most of Europe, not only that, but I had a box of them, and the people at the train station wouldn’t accept them as they weren’t on a piece of paper. Amazing.
After that, I had to provide my vaccination card. And unlike in the EU, in the Uk we have a small card that shows we’ve been vaccinated. Well, for some reason, despite it being a legal thing, they wouldn’t take it, and they said I had to show it on the app. The problem there was that because I travelled for too long, my data was closed off until I returned, and the problem with that is that the app from the NHS (the UK healthcare system) needs your phone number to send you a code to log in. So I could get Wifi and send them my number all I wanted, I wasn’t getting any codes.
Therefore, because of that, I had to pay for 2 PCR tests instead of one. Oh, and I dare mention that I had 1 PCR test on me, but because my code didn’t work on the space I had to fill on the PFL, I couldn’t use it. Amazing, right?

And I’ll tell you one thing, after I left those Belgians that wouldn’t let me go, nobody asked me a damn thing about anything. They either assumed or didn’t care.

But at least I learned two things.
Relying on technology isn’t great when you don’t have data.
People in power lie to you to get your money, even if it doesn’t end up in their pocket.

Life is cool otherwise.